The Ocean Friendly Gardens program (OFG) sees landscapes and streets as solutions to water pollution – and more. OFG standards use this simple approach everywhere possible: contouring landscapes for rainwater retention; creating living soil to sponge up water, filter pollution and sequester carbon; and installing climate-appropriate plants to create wildlife habitat and a sense of place.
The Ocean Friendly Gardens (OFG) Program is Surfrider Foundation’s volunteer-run landscape education, hands-on training and advocacy program. In addition to providing valuable information to property owners on how landscapes and hardscapes can prevent water pollution, Surfrider chapters are using this program to encourage landscape professionals to incorporate the program’s principles into their business practices. Chapters also use the program to motivate local governments to support OFG-oriented policy changes for existing and new development.
Water runoff is the #1 source of ocean pollution in urban areas, contributing to flooding and wasting water that can irrigate landscapes and replenish groundwater. OFGs apply CPR – Conservation, Permeability and Retention – to landscapes, hardscapes and streets. They allow soil to act like a sponge to help restore the helpful functions of watersheds like protecting local water supplies and preventing pollution from reaching the ocean. They also reduce flooding, pull carbon from the air and into plants and soil, and create wildlife habitat (above is a typical OFG and below is a curb cut flowing into a bio-swale).
OFGs apply what is coming to be known around the country as the watershed approach. The principles are the same: healthy, living soil; retain rainwater; climate-appropriate plants; efficient supplemental irrigation as needed.
Go to the Resources page for:
- More about CPR
- OFG criteria
- OFG Activist Toolkit
- OFG online map and yard sign
- OFG videos, articles and funding sources
- Toolkits and Online Tools
- Toolkit for Planning an OFG Program & Activities – tabling, walks, talks, workdays, policy meetings, plus sample flyers/hand-outs.
- Interactive Map of Current Ocean Friendly Gardens
- Signs, Brochures, and Educational Resources
- To order an Ocean Friendly Garden Sign, please email Lindsey Koning, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Intro to Ocean Friendly Gardens Slideshow
- Tips for Making Your Yard More Ocean Friendly Blog
- Clean Water Tips Handout – things you can do at home to protect water quality at the beach
- Surfrider’s short, animated film about a holistic approach to water called “The Cycle of Insanity” (Disponible aquí en Español)
- Guidelines and How To’s
- Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Gardens How-To Gardener’s Guide Book
- Guidebook following the watershed approach – how to evaluate your site, remove turf without chemicals, grade for rainwater capture, sheet mulch, and more. It was created by G3/Green Gardens Group and applies to areas beyond Southern California (unlike what the title suggests)
- Steps to Creating an OFG – template for identifying resources in your area
- Install rain barrels and be a part of the “Get Barreled” Program
- Get involved!
- Guidelines and How To’s
- Resources for Chapters
- OFG Webpage Templates – West LA/Malibu, New York City
- OFG Logos (PDF Version)
- Funding Opportunities
- Activity Data Tracker Form for annual reporting
- Instructional Videos – installing an OFG, how they work, adding parkway curb cuts (green street), case studies, and more.
- Print Media About OFG
Mara Dias, Water Quality Manager: email@example.com
Surfrider is a Promotional Partner for the U.S. E.P.A.’s WaterSense Program.